More Americans die from heart disease than any other diseases. However, ironically researchers have observed that people with gum disease (when compared to people without gum disease) were more likely to develop heart disease or have difficulty controlling blood sugar. That is, irritation between your gum lines can cause inflammation around the tooth. The gums will gradually separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that will eventually become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. The teeth will then become loose and will have to be removed. This is called periodontal disease, the progression of bad oral hygiene ranging from simple gum inflammation to serious diseases.
Who gets periodontal disease?
• Most people develop periodontal in their late 30’s and 40’s. Men are more likely to develop periodontal disease than women.
• Those who smoke are at the biggest risk for getting periodontal disease. Smoking reduces the success of treatments and can irritate healthy gyms.
• People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
• Diseases such as AIDS and its treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums, as can treatments for cancer.
• Some medicines can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; this can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
• Genetics play a large role for some people and some are more prone to severe gum disease than others.
How can you prevent periodontal disease from occurring?
In case you didn’t know, the best kept secret to preventing most periodontal disease is plain and simple. By taking care of your teeth and having good oral hygiene you can prevent periodontal disease and gain many more benefits for a longer lasting smile. This means that you brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes. Flossing after each meal is recommended to keep your teeth whiter much longer. Remember to rinse with an antibacterial mouth wash after your bedtime routine. Last but not least, visit your family dentist regularly to remove tartar and check for problems before they emerge. Preventative care is the key to dentistry.
Should you develop gum disease the first thing you should do is seek help from a periodontist for urgent treatments. The dentist, periodontist, or dental hygienist removes the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Periodontal disease can be reversed with the proper treatments- but time is of the essence. Dr. Kao is an expert periodontist serving the greater downtown Los Angeles area.